Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

13 September 2012

Wandering Into An Early Start



I've a question for those of you who commute:  How much do you vary your routes?  

Also:  Have you ever made a wrong turn, or even gotten lost, on a ride to work or a routine appointment?

Today, I could answer "yes" to the first part of my second question.  After wheeling out of my apartment, I proceeded two blocks further on 23rd Street than I normally would before making a right turn.  You might say that subconsciously (or, perhaps, not-so-sub-consciously), I wanted to make that diversion: I had left early and the weather could hardly have been better.  In fact, if I hadn't had to go to work, I would have made a few more "wrong" turns!

At first, what I got was nothing more than a slight change of scenery: I was riding along 30th Avenue, which I know but don't cycle very often because it is narrow and lined with stores.  Motorists frequently pull away from the curb, or dart into any parking space that becomes available, without paying much attention to other motorists or cyclists.  Also, pedestrians frequently dart out from between cars in the middle of a block, or saunter into that narrow space between the parking and traffic lanes, seemingly oblivious to everything else.

But, ironically, there was less traffic as I neared LaGuardia Airport.  Actually, it does make sense:   Wednesday is not a heavy travel day.  From there, it wasn't far to the World's Fair Marina Promenade.  Today was one of those days in which even the metallic hues of Flushing Bay seem almost idyllic.  

From there, I crossed the Northern Boulevard Bridge and made a couple more wrong turns under some trees that haven't yet begun to change color.  You might say that I was in a kind of seasonal denial, that I was holding onto one last moment of summer before going in to work.

The greatest irony of today is that, in spite of my meanderings, my office mates and students remarked on how early I arrived.

4 comments:

  1. I live in a small town, with a direct ride of about two miles to work. I mix it up with four- and six-mile alternatives, and I generally stick to those three. The two-miler is the only one I could potentially improvise on; the longer ones stick to some bike paths where there aren't other places to go. Anyway, folks seem to think I'm eccentric for taking a six-mile "scenic" route to work when I *could* do it in only two. Truth is, it's a great way to either wake up on my way to work, or decompress & chill on my way home.

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  2. Iris--I think that as long as we're in an automobile-dominated culture, people will always wonder why we don't take the fastest and most direct method and route between Points A and B.

    Like you, I meander or veer of my normal routes, especially on my way home, when I need to decompress or am thinking about something. Sometimes I'll even ride the Marina promenade in the dead of winter!

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  3. People often wonder why when giving them a ride by van I can find my way about strange back roads in the nearby city where I used to live! Duh! Have bike, will explore...

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  4. Coline--When riding in automobiles, I've shown drivers alternative routes--which, of course, I've cycled. Said drivers are astonished when said route is actually quicker--or, at least, more interesting or pleasant--than the one they normally take.

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